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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

'The Bearded One' Looks To Stay

Aston Villa and Sweden defender Olof Mellberg is read to commit his long term future to the claret and blue.

Mellberg, who has been with Villa for six seasons already, has a contract up until the end of the 2007/2008 season but told PA Sport:

'I haven't really heard anything myself about a new contract. I read something about it in the papers. There are a few of us in a similar situation contract-wise. But I would like to stay at Aston Villa if they offer me a new one. Definitely.'

'I am not looking to leave. It has been a good start to the season and I have felt good personally. There is no reason to say no if there is a new contract offer. My own form has been good all season. I felt strong pre-season and I have felt good the whole season.'

'The bearded one' travels to Anfield to sort out the Raffa Reds on Saturday.

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday October 26 2006

Time: 4:35PM

Your Comments

You are most welcome bearded one, a pleasyre to watch. UTV
"pleasyre" thats swedish you know, UTV
So much better this year. Possibly since he doesn't have the pressure of captaincy anymore?
that is a lovely beard!
get him signed up
They will be crying into their champagne and prawn sandwiches come november 8th ! less harsh this time , Tarts !!
sign him up ASAP!!!!!!!! him and Laursen are terrific together.
yeah sign him up even the communication barrier between him and Sorrenson has bin sorted.
silkie villain
Definately needs signing up long term. Defenders tend to peak in their late 20's so we could still be yet to see the best of the son of god!
A bit controversial this and totally opposite to what everbody is saying but how is this for a thought? Arsene Wenger and to some extent Alex Ferguson have made a habit of knowing the best time to let a player go. The best example being Viera. He cost a couple of million in his early 20's and was sold as a 30 year old for 14 million. What great business. I am not saying it is the right thing to do but maybe it is worth looking at letting Mellberg go as he is nearly 30. His value has to be about 8 million. We have three other centre halfs in Laursen, Cahill and Ridgewell. Some of the money would be invested in a young up and coming centre half, so that we still have 4 players for the 2 positions. Any remaining money to go towards strengthining other areas of the team. In recent years we have had great service from the likes of Merson, Dublin and Stone. With transfer fees and wages these three players alone cost the club almost 40 million. We got nothing back for them. It is impossible for any business to survive like this. The skill is in getting the best years from a player and then getting the biggest possible transfer fee. You then have to find a replacement with potential, someone like Curtis Davis at the Albion for example who was snapped up for 3 million.It may be harsh, but I think it is true. The alternative is we sign Mellberg on a longer contract, get great service, but ultimately no financial return. It is a tough call but if you ask Arsenal fans if they would rather now have Viera or Fabregas it is a no brainer. That got the best years from Viera and now have an 18 year old potential superstar on an 8 year contract.
Dont agree with that. Firstly he was only being valued at 4million in the summer. Secondly I think his best is yet to come.
Plus i dont want Olly to leave, just as i got a shirt with his name on! :D
VOTH, The old gits gone, no more scrimping and saving, lets build and improve on what weve got and Olly wants to stay you couldnt say that about Vierra.
silkie villain
Silkie, I am non commital either way. But I do think it is an area worth looking at. As for scrimping and saving, every penny still matters at our football club. To get 8 million for a 30 year old and reinvest 2/3 million in a 20 year old would be seen in some quarters as good business?? Randy will run Villa like a business and not plough his own money in, unlike Abromobiatch. Every player has a price and if we were to get something like 8 million for Olly, there may be some logic to taking that sort of money and reinvesting it in a young centre half with potential. I think the Curtis Davis example was a valid one. I agree that if his market value is neither here or there, then it would make sense to keep him. I also see the logic in selling almost any player if you are able to get considerably more than their perceived market value.
He's shaven it off!
no way should we sell are best defender,do we see any of top teams selling their top players coming 2 their peak unless they want 2 go?think all villa fans would be 100 per cent against this idea!end of....................
Belfast Villain
Hey LL cool villan, (!) he might have shaven it off, but you watch, it'll be back..... he's a viking warrior you know!
The Fear
Selling Olly would be really bad business when you concider that he is a key part of our defence, a defence that may well get us into European competition, something that is worth 8 million just for UEFA, much more if it's CL.
Villain Of The North
Villain of the north, I understand the point you make but the figures you quote are miles off. The Arse made 10 million on the back of getting to last seasons Champions League Final. Middsbro just turned a profit on their run to the UEFA final. Unless you get to the last 4 of the the UEFA Cup you can end up losing money. As for the top teams selling players at their peak belfast villan, are we discounting Viera, Van Nistleroy, Damien Duff, Gudjohnsen etc? Bar Duff these are players at the same age as Mellberg. They were sold because in a year or two they have almost no market value. It is a bit like selling a car. If you have a two year old Mercedes on a three year warranty, it makes sense to sell it then reinvest in a more up to date model. Rather than waiting an extra couple years. As it gets older it is more prone to breakdowns, is more expensive to maintain and its value drops considerably. It is a good job the bearded one did not decide to only shave after a defeat! Else it would look like we had Father Christmas playing for us.
What a turnaround in that a mere few months back everybody and his dog wanted out of Villa Park. Get him signed up I say. We want to build a strong, competitive squad, and Olof still has plenty to offer us. It seems as if he's been with us forever. A great signing. A Villa stalwart.
Playing alongside such a talent as Olof has to be a big plus to the likes of Ridge and the very up and coming Gary Cahill too. They can only learn from playing alongside him.

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